Feeds

Toshiba plans new enterprise: High capacity 3.5-inch HDDs

Wants to be a bigger player in the big drive market

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Toshiba is planning to enter the high-capacity enterprise 3.5-inch hard disk drive market.

Toshiba Storage Division Europe hosted a press event in London yesterday, following on the completion of its acquisition of Fujitsu's hard disk drive (HDD) business.

Following the acquisition Toshiba has a portfolio of HDDs that are sold into the enterprise, mobile and consumer electronics markets plus the automotive - with a dominating 80 per cent plus market share - and the industrial HDD market.

Before the acquisition Toshiba was not in the enterprise market, having deliberately taken a decision a few years ago to concentrate on small form factor drives in the mobile, consumer electronics (CE) and automotive markets. This gave it today's line-up of 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch drives.

The company also makes NAND flash chips through its Toshiba Electronics Components operation, but these are not sold by the Storage Device Division. It is a hard disk drive product-based division and has channel expertise in these products and their markets.

Because of this channel expertise, it is developing eSSD - enterprise flash solid state drives - for server-attached storage. Flash drives for notebook computers would come from the Electronics Components division.

The Fujitsu HDD acquisition gives Toshiba 10K and 15K 2.5-inch enterprise HDDs with a SAS interface. It also brings overlapping 7200 and 5400rpm, 2.5-inch mobile and CE drives to Toshiba's own products. Tosh will use the Fujitsu enterprise drives as a base to expand its enterprise drive offerings.

It is developing its eSSD products, SAS interface ones, by combining NAND chips with Fujitsu controller technology. It is also developing a 7200rpm 3.5-inch drive, with both SAS and SATA interfaces being considered. This drive would be for tier 3 nearline storage applications.

Toshiba currently has a 7200rpm 2.5-inch drive with a 395Gbit/sq in areal density and 250GB/platter capacity. Such a platter could be readily scaled up to 3.5-inches and instantly provide a 2TB capacity, via four platters of 500GB capacity at the same areal density level.

Were Toshiba to take areal density at the 7200rpm level above 400Gbit/sq in then we could be looking at a 3TB drive. Could it do this?

Currently Tosh has a 5400rpm 2.5-inch drive with a 528.5Gbit/sq in areal density and 320GB/platter capacity. It has a 5400rpm 1.8-inch drive with 516Gbit/sq in areal density and 160GB/platter capacity. If Tosh breached the 500Gbit/sq in areal density level in its coming 7200rpm, 3.5-inch drive that could enable 750GB/platter capacities and so produce a 3TB drive with four platters.

We might expect Toshiba to introduce its 3.5-inch drive next year, along with its eSSD.

The company is planning, meaning it's not in development yet, a low-speed 2.5-inch enterprise drive, spinning at 7200rpm. This would, we believe, be a capacity-focussed drive and so would use the 500Gbit/sq in areal density capability as well. This would give it today's 5400rpm drive capacity, meaning 640GB. Alternatively, Toshiba could be hoping to move to a higher areal density and achieve a 1TB, 2-platter 2.5-inch drive. WD currently has a 3-platter, 1TB 2.5-inch drive and there is speculation about a 1TB small form factor drive being prepared by Seagate.

Future recording technologies

Toshiba's Philip Walsh, director of business planning for Toshiba storage in Europe, has a slide in his presentation set showing Discrete Track Recording (DTR) technology being developed to increase areal density for 2.5-inch drives from 2010 onwards. Bit-patterned Media (BPM), with its insulating doughnut ring around the magnetised bits, will start its development in 2012, also for 2.5-inch drives.

That year, Toshiba thinks thermal-assisted recording, what we know as HAMR (Heat-assisted Magnetic Recording), will also start its development in 2012 but for 3.5-inch drives. There was a suggestion that HAMR read/write heads would be bulkier than non-HAMR heads and so would be too large to fit in 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch HDD casings.

Toshiba has a goal of becoming the number one supplier of mobile-class and enterprise small form factor disk drives, meaning 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch units, in 2012. It reckons it is currently number two. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.